Sunday, May 5, 2013

#81 - Bagels

I have been baking since I was old enough to help my mom roll out cookie dough and shape bread rolls.  However, my first real experience with bagels didn't happen until I was in graduate school.  I was working in a small editorial office for a major medical journal as the lone student intern, and the office manager would bring in fresh bagels once a week or so from the local Bruegger's bakery.  They tasted great, but the whole boil and bake method sounded a little odd to me.  So, I never tried to make them on my own and sort of forgot that good bagels existed after I moved on to the next stage of my life.
boiling bagels with some draining in the background

Then, a few years ago, my friend Amanda gave me some bagels that she had made - wow! ... yummy and chewy just like I remembered!  And I got the recipe from her to try myself ... but, again, I was just mentally thrown by the fact that you boil them before they went in the oven.  I'm not sure why this was such a mental block for me as I've made doughnuts many times and used to help my mom make other fried cookies like rosettes.  Plus, I've made cookies and bars where part of the ingredients needed to be cooked before adding them to the dough.  Regardless, the recipe just sat in my file.  And, since I'm not fond of commercial bread products, I basically just didn't eat bagels for several more years.
pre-boiled and ready to go into the oven

Today, I found the recipe again.  (And heaved a sigh of relief that it didn't require eggs since I was hoping not to have to go to the store).  Actually, I was fairly surprised at how simple it was ... water, sugar, salt, flour, more yeast than usual for bread, and a little bit of corn meal to bake them on.  There was an optional suggestion of malt syrup to make the browning color more appealing, but I left that out since I didn't have any on hand.  My bread machine did all of the work with the dough, and the boiling stage was very quick.  I was amazed ... bagels within half an hour of the dough cycle finishing in the bread machine.  Yummy, chewy, hot-from-the-oven bagels ... excuse me, I think I need to go have another one. ;)
out of the oven and cooling

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